From ordering takeout to grabbing a morning cup of coffee, single-use plastic seems inescapable.
Rethinking your daily routines will help you understand exactly how much plastic you’re going through in a day. We rounded up 10 easy ways to break the habit of using disposable plastic in your day-to-day life.
1. Switch to Reusable Sandwich Bags
Packing lunch is a great money saver, but if you pack every day, Ziploc baggies add up quick. Find resealable bags online to reduce the amount of plastic baggies that end up getting tossed after finishing your lunch.
2. Bring Your Own Utensils
One of the easiest ways to start cutting single-use plastics from your life is to stop using plastic silverware. Bring your own set to leave at work, and if you’re ordering takeout, ask the restaurant to hold the utensils. All you need is a fork, spoon and maybe a knife depending on your lunch habits.
3. Get a Reusable Water Bottle
Instead of reaching for a new bottle each time you get thirsty, opt for a reusable water bottle. There are plenty of brands to choose from. Popular brands include Nalgene (if you want a sturdy plastic option) or S’well (for an eco-friendly stainless steel option).
4. Replace Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap makes covering leftovers and packing lunch much easier, but how much do you go through in a month? Enter Bee’s Wrap: a natural alternative to plastic wrap made from cotton, beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin.
5. Break Your Coffee Pod Habit
What’s more convenient than being able to brew your favorite blend of coffee with a k-cup? These coffee pods have become a staple in many households, but they produce massive amounts of waste. The clear answer is to brew your own coffee. Not only will it save you money, but the flavor of freshly ground beans in a French press is unbeatable.
6. Bring a Reusable Coffee Cup
And we don’t mean reusable paper cups—those are often lined with plastic for insulation. Instead, find a nice stainless steel travel mug to keep your coffee piping hot (or cold, if you lean toward iced coffee!). Even coffeeshops like Starbucks are getting savvy by selling reusable cups at their stores.
7. Grocery Shop with a Tote
Instead of answering paper or plastic at the register, opt to bring canvas or nylon tote bags. They’re inexpensive (and sometimes free with a subscription to your favorite magazine) and can hold a decent amount of groceries, toiletries and more.
8. Skip the Produce Bags
Next time you head to the grocery store or farmer’s market, bring your own bags for produce. You can make your own from old t-shirts or buy new ones so you don’t have to keep reaching for those thin plastic baggies.
9. Switch to Glass
Glass containers are microwave-, dishwasher- and usually oven-safe, which is a win-win-win in our eyes! Another benefit of switching to glass storage containers is that they don’t stain or hold on to scents like plastic does.
10. Make Use of What You Have
Already have a cabinet full of plastic containers? Use them! It’s better to keep reusing them for storing fresh produce or packing leftovers than dump them just because they’re plastic.
Don’t limit yourself to the kitchen, either. Plastic containers are great for organizing the bathroom, garage, craft room or tool sheds.
In the modern world, avoiding all single-use plastic is near impossible. But with these simple swaps, you can make strides to cutting out plastic from your day-to-day life.
We want to know—how do you say no to single-use plastic?